Synopses & Reviews
is a celebration of swimming and the effect it has on our lives. It’s an inquiry into why we swim—the lure, the hold, the timeless magic of being in the water. It’s a look at how swimming has changed over the millennia, how this ancient activity is becoming more social than solitary today. It’s about our relationship with the water, with our fishy forebearers, and with the costumes that we wear. You’ll even find a few songs to sing when you push out those next laps.
Swimming enthusiast Lynn Sherr explores every aspect of the sport, from the biology of swimming to the fame of Esther Williams; from turquoise pools and wild water to the training of Olympians; and she reveals the secret of buoyancy so that anyone can avoid the example of the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who lamented, “Why can’t I swim, it seems so very easy?” When his friend, the biographer Edward John Trelawny, said, “because you think you can’t,” Shelley plunged into Italy’s Arno River and dropped like a rock. With Swim, you can avoid that happening to you.
“Lynn Sherr’s book, SWIM, will help water be your friend and it will be the best friend you'll ever have. I'm proud to be a part of that.”Lynne Cox, open-water champion; author, Swimming to Antarctica“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a swimming party, with glamorous stars, ancient warriors and lovers, and some of the greatest and wildest swimmers. It’s a story full of zen and exuberant energy and merriment. If you love to swim, you’ll love SWIM!”
Lynn Sherrs book, SWIM, will help water be your friend and it will be the best friend you'll ever have. I'm proud to be a part of that.”
Lynne Cox, open-water champion; author, Swimming to Antarctica
I couldnt put this book down. Its a swimming party, with glamorous stars, ancient warriors and lovers, and some of the greatest and wildest swimmers. Its a story full of zen and exuberant energy and merriment. If you love to swim, youll love SWIM!”
A collection of swimming traditions and anecdotes wrapped in a celebration of the pleasures involved
. Her enthusiasm propels the book forward. That enthusiasm bleeds over into her history of swimming, which has a gratifyingly great sweep. From start to finish, she searches for the essence of why swimming has touched so many, be it Oliver Sacks (I never knew anything so powerfully, so healthily euphoriant) or Chairman Mao (Do you swim? Water is a good thing). Sherr sends a sweet valentine, with enough background to keep it interesting, to a love that has never let her down."
Wall Street Journal
What is there to say about such a solitary and inward experience? Plenty, as it turns out. In Swim: Why We Love the Water, Lynn Sherr
pulls us into the subject
and interweaves it within her version of a quest romance: Can this 60-something grandmother achieve her goal and swim the Hellespontthe legendary strait that runs between the Aegean Sea and Turkey's interior? ... Ms. Sherr writes personably and moves her reader through her narrative at a pleasing pace
What Ms. Sherr does best is describe the pleasures of the water, of finding yourself while losing yourself, giving yourself up to the supporting medium.
and every chapter of the book builds her personal narrative while placing it in the context of often fascinating mini-treatises on subjects that reach beyond the water.
She writes interestingly about women and bathing suits (Diana Vreeland pronounced the bikini "the most important thing since the atom bomb") and about the effects of water on women's hair, topics that become, with her attention, more than merely peripheral.”
A witty and informative celebration of her sport, as well as an inspiring tale of personal challenge and discovery
. [Sherr] immerses the reader in the history, lore, science and trivia of swimming. In barely 200 pages of buoyant prose illustrated with photos, diagrams and swimming art, Sherr presents an enormous amount of aquatic infofrom the origins of strokes and the evolution of swimwear to the physiology of Olympic swimmers; from the skinny-dipping habits of John Quincy Adams to whether giraffes can swim. (Yes, just not well.) Best of all, Sherr captures the physical thrill of the one human activity that takes place in a completely alien element. Dive in.”
Town and Country
A delicious, inspiring love-letter to swimming from former ABC correspondent Lynn Sherr. In between tales of swimsuits past and present, the stellar performances of Annette Kellerman and Esther Williams, and the magic of champion swimmers, Sherr chronicles her own attempt to swim across the Hellespont from Europe to Asia, following mythological lover Leander and romantic poet Lord Byron.”
From the evolution of our aquatic ancestors to the trauma of bathing suit shopping, these essays examine the sport of swimming from every angle.”
Open Water Swimming, Steve Munatones
A joy to read
. Each chapter moves smoothly and swiftly like the swimming strokes of the most graceful aquatic heroes and heroines. Looking down on each page of Lynns book is similar to swimming over a coral reef: you are not quite sure what you are going to come across next, but you are sure enough to enjoy it when you do. Lynn literally covers thousands of years of history, along with nearly 100 photos, engravings and images that like perfectly placed currents gently pushing the reader towards the end of an extraordinarily well-written and deeply researched page turner.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Swim is a book-length love letter to [Sherrs] favorite sport.”
[A] breezy, amiable meditation
. [Sherrs] enthusiasm for the subject I have never had a bad swim, she writes at one point buoys us along as she interviews competitive swimmers, biologists, and the president of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.”
Swimming may be Sherr's salvation, but one needn't be an enthusiast to be charmed by this graceful memoir.”
In Swim, a joyful plunge into the history, lore and legend of swimming, US journalist and avid swimmer Lynn Sherr explores the pleasures of gliding through cool waters while preparing to follow Leander and Byron and cross the Hellespont herself.”
San Francisco Chronicle
"A thorough celebration of swimming, and what it has taught us over the centuries.”
This book will enchant anyone whos drawn to water, whether you swim once a week at the local pool or dedicate your life to briny challenges
. Beautifully illustrated with maps, texts and rare images of swimmingfrom Egyptian hieroglyphs through Hollywood to the Olympic Games. [Sherr] delivers it all in beautiful prose: She is an award-winning writer and broadcast journalist, a well-known face on ABC News for 30 years. This is Sherr in her element, eagerly sharing her lifes passion through an assiduous look at swimming and what it means. Perhaps the tiny swimmer breaststroking over and over again at the foot of each page is Sherr herself
. SWIM is the only book Ive ever read that gathers together everything we love about swimming in one volume. Its all here. And its enticing blend of personality and passion will draw you in, just like an irresistible glimpse of a lake on a hot summers day.”
Jane Brody, New York Times
Sherr celebrates the culture, history and physical and mental rewards of this ancient sport."
Ms. Sherr weaves notes from her year of magical training for the Hellespont swimathon into a highly readable celebration of mans water history and the lure of the bluewhat Wallace Stevens called the basic slate, the universal huethat has attracted swimmers from Neptune to Nemo.”
The renowned broadcast journalist and author explores the culture, history, challenges, and pleasures of her favorite recreational sport in this deliciously illustrated book
About the Author
Broadcast journalist and writer Lynn Sherr was an award-winning correspondent for more than thirty years at ABC News. She is the author of Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes; Outside the Box: A Memoir; America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation’s Favorite Song; and Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Words. She coedited Peter Jennings, A Reporter’s Life. She lives in New York.